It has been just revealed the fact that there is a new laser approach that will pave the way to the moon. Check out the latest reports and find out what experts have been up to on the lunar surface.
Paving the way on the moon
Scientists have found a way to create paved roads and landing pads on the Moon using lasers to melt lunar soil into a more solid, layered substance, according to a proof-of-concept study published in Scientific Reports. While the experiments were conducted on Earth using a substitute for lunar dust, the results suggest that the technique could be replicated on the Moon. More work may be needed to refine the process, however, according to the scientists.
Lunar rovers face challenges on the Moon due to its low gravity and the tendency of moon dust to float around when disturbed, potentially damaging equipment.
Therefore, building infrastructure such as roads and landing pads will be crucial to mitigate dust issues and facilitate transport on the Moon.
But transporting construction materials from Earth is expensive, making it essential to use the resources available on the Moon.
Researchers Ginés-Palomares, Miranda Fateri, and Jens Günster conducted an experiment to simulate the process of melting lunar dust into a solid substance by focused solar radiation on the Moon.
For this, they used a fine-grained material called EAC-1A, which was developed by ESA as a substitute for lunar soil.
The researchers tried melting the EAC-1A material with a carbon dioxide laser of varying strengths and sizes, up to 12 kilowatts and 100 millimeters across respectively.
They found that criss-crossing or overlapping the laser beam path led to cracking, so they developed a new method using a 45-millimeter diameter laser beam to create triangular, hollow-centered geometric shapes of about 250 millimeters in size.
These shapes could be interlocked to create a solid surface across large areas of lunar soil. The authors suggest that this material could be used to build roads and landing pads on the Moon.
SciTech Daily notes that in order to reproduce this approach on the Moon, “the authors calculate that a lens of approximately 2.37 meters squared would need to be transported from Earth to act as a sunlight concentrator in place of the laser. The relatively small size of equipment needed would be an advantage in future Moon missions.”